If young people can get on top of weight issues before their mid-teen years, they will be less likely to face cardiovascular health issues later in life, a new study at MCRI has found.
In adulthood, body mass index (BMI) is strongly linked to cardiovascular health. The the aim of this study was to find out whether this link also exists in children.
The study, published in Childhood Obesity, grouped teens with similar BMI from birth to the mid-teens, and assessed if their BMI over time was linked with cardiovascular health.
“We found that teenagers that were consistently overweight between birth and 14 years old did not have big differences in cardiovascular structure compared to teenagers who were normal weight between the same ages” said Alanna.
“Since we know that by adulthood the two are strongly linked, we propose that this link must develop after the mid-teens before adulthood.”
Levels of overweight and obesity in adolescents has plateaued at a high level. And while the cost of health consequences in our next generation of adults is unknown, Alanna says it’s likely to be substantial.
“This research can provide a better understanding of how differences in BMI link to cardiovascular risk, which could lead to opportunities to identify people at the highest risk of disease, and intervene before permanent damage occurs.”
Journal reference: Childhood Obesity